[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
Several recently developed therapies targeting motor disabilities in stroke sufferers have shown to be more effective than standard neurorehabilitation approaches. In this context, several basic studies demonstrated that music training produces rapid neuroplastic changes in motor-related brain areas. Music-supported therapy has been recently developed as a new motor rehabilitation intervention.
Methods and Results
In order to explore the plasticity effects of music-supported therapy, this therapeutic intervention was applied to twenty chronic stroke patients. Before and after the music-supported therapy, transcranial magnetic stimulation was applied for the assessment of excitability changes in the motor cortex and a 3D movement analyzer was used for the assessment of motor performance parameters such as velocity, acceleration and smoothness in a set of diadochokinetic movement tasks. Our results suggest that the music-supported therapy produces changes in cortical plasticity leading the improvement of the subjects' motor performance.
Our findings represent the first evidence of the neurophysiological changes induced by this therapy in chronic stroke patients, and their link with the amelioration of motor performance. Further studies are needed to confirm our observations.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Playing a musical instrument demands the engagement of different neural systems. Recent studies about the musician's brain and musical training highlight that this activity requires the close interaction between motor and somatosensory systems. Moreover, neuroplastic changes have been reported in motor-related areas after short and long-term musical training. Because of its capacity to promote neuroplastic changes, music has been used in the context of stroke neurorehabilitation. The majority of patients suffering from a stroke have motor impairments, preventing them to live independently. Thus, there is an increasing demand for effective restorative interventions for neurological deficits. Music-supported Therapy (MST) has been recently developed to restore motor deficits. We report data of a selected sample of stroke patients who have been enrolled in a MST program (1 month intense music learning). Prior to and after the therapy, patients were evaluated with different behavioral motor tests. Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) was applied to evaluate changes in the sensorimotor representations underlying the motor gains observed. Several parameters of excitability of the motor cortex were assessed as well as the cortical somatotopic representation of a muscle in the affected hand. Our results revealed that participants obtained significant motor improvements in the paretic hand and those changes were accompanied by changes in the excitability of the motor cortex. Thus, MST leads to neuroplastic changes in the motor cortex of stroke patients which may explain its efficacy.
Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 01/2013; 7:494. · 2.91 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We report the case of a chronic stroke patient (62 months after injury) showing total absence of motor activity evoked by transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) of spared regions of the left motor cortex, but near-to-complete recovery of motor abilities in the affected hand.
Multimodal investigations included detailed TMS based motor mapping, motor evoked potentials (MEP), and Cortical Silent period (CSP) as well as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) of motor activity, MRI based lesion analysis and Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI) Tractography of corticospinal tract (CST). Anatomical analysis revealed a left hemisphere subinsular lesion interrupting the descending left CST at the level of the internal capsule. The absence of MEPs after intense TMS pulses to the ipsilesional M1, and the reversible suppression of ongoing electromyographic (EMG) activity (indexed by CSP) demonstrate a weak modulation of subcortical systems by the ipsilesional left frontal cortex, but an inability to induce efficient descending volleys from those cortical locations to right hand and forearm muscles. Functional MRI recordings under grasping and finger tapping patterns involving the affected hand showed slight signs of subcortical recruitment, as compared to the unaffected hand and hemisphere, as well as the expected cortical activations.
The potential sources of motor voluntary activity for the affected hand in absence of MEPs are discussed. We conclude that multimodal analysis may contribute to a more accurate prognosis of stroke patients.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Music-Supported Therapy (MST) has been developed recently in order to improve the use of the affected upper extremity after stroke. This study investigated the neuroplastic mechanisms underlying effectiveness in a patient with chronic stroke.
MST uses musical instruments, a midi piano and an electronic drum set emitting piano sounds, to retrain fine and gross movements of the paretic upper extremity. Data are presented from a patient with a chronic stroke (20 months post-stroke) with residual right-sided hemiparesis who took part in 20 MST sessions over the course of 4 weeks.
Post-therapy, a marked improvement of movement quality, assessed by 3D movement analysis, was observed. Moreover, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) of a sequential hand movement revealed distinct therapy-related changes in the form of a reduction of excess contralateral and ipsilateral activations. This was accompanied by changes in cortical excitability evidenced by transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). Functional MRI in a music listening task suggests that one of the effects of MST is the task-dependent coupling of auditory and motor cortical areas.
The MST appears to be a useful neurorehabilitation tool in patients with chronic stroke and leads to neural reorganization in the sensorimotor cortex.